The temporary suspension on excavation and demolition appears to be having its desired effect… save for a few cowboys around Malta who have continued to operate with complete disregard for the law.
One site, in particular, located on Moroni Street in Sliema, has continued excavation works on a number of days following the government’s suspension as a series of videos have shown.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced the ban (and accompanying reforms) last Thursday after yet another building collapsed, the third of its kind in under two months.
He announced that an increase of fines to €10,000 would come into effect – along with a €50,000 fine if works continue despite warnings – but it seems that these financial penalties are not in place as of yet.
It should be noted that sites may be allowed to continue excavating if the development proves to be dangerous should the works stop. Sources told Lovin Malta that there should be between 20 to 25 sites across Malta and Gozo who would be eligible to continue.
It is unclear whether the site in question was able to get an exemption, but multiple sources who viewed the video expressed serious doubt that this was the case.
Asked whether they had contacted the Building Regulations Office, the person who took the video was dismayed with the current state of affairs.
“No, I’ve given up, these bullies have too much power,” one person told Lovin Malta. “I went down to check there was an architect on site but there wasn’t anyone.”
Over the weekend, Lovin Malta did receive a number of complaints about excavation, with one person alleging that they had tried to get hold of BRO for a number of hours.
However, the newsroom was informed that one site in Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq had indeed been stopped due to continued demolition.